HumanCentric DockBook Review: Elegant Space-Saving USB-C Dock for MacBook Pros This vertical dock cleans up your desktop clutter.

The HumanCentric DockBook is a simple way to have more of a desktop-like experience with a MacBook Pro without sacrificing the instant mobility of a laptop. It’s a vertical USB-C dock with the speed of Thunderbolt 3 and works with all 13-, 15- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar made from 2016 and 2020. For hoteling or hot-desking, it’s a fantastic addition to a desk setup.  

The cantilever-style design snuggly holds the MacBook Pro vertically while also acting as a pass-through for the two Thunderbolts on either side of the laptop. Because the ports on both sides of the MacBook have identical spacing, the left or right side can be slotted in. There are pads inside the mount that grip and hold the MacBook in place. While it adjusts some, the slot wouldn’t accommodate the slim hardshell case I use. A slimmer case might work, though.

HumanCentric Dockbook on a green background

Your MacBook Pro might need to go naked to fit in the DockBook. 

Joshua Goldman/CNET

Again, the DockBook simply duplicates the two USB-C ports on the MacBook Pro on the rear of the dock. If you need other connections such as HDMI or DisplayPort outputs, Ethernet, USB-A ports or an SD/microSD card reader, you’ll need to connect an additional USB-C dock to the DockBook or consider HumanCentric’s vertical stand that’s combined with a built-in USB-C dock. It’s not as elegant as the DockBook but connects your MacBook to much more. 

HumanCentric Dockbook on a green background

The two USB-C ports on the DockBook can be a tight fit with some USB-C cables. 

Joshua Goldman/CNET

The DockBook, however, is perfect for a display like Dell’s UltraSharp U3223QZ monitor that has a lot of extra connectivity built-in. With the right cable, though, you can connect from USB-C to HDMI or DisplayPort as well. I know it might not seem like much of an inconvenience to connect a cable or two, but being able to sit down at a desk, slide a MacBook Pro into the DockBook and get right to work is a much better experience. And when you’re done for the day, you simply slide it back out, put it in your bag and go. The single-cable connection means less mess on your desk, and the vertical design means more desk space, too. The one downside for me is, with the MacBook closed, I can’t use Touch ID. 

HumanCentric Dockbook on a green background

The DockBook has an anodized aluminum housing. 

Joshua Goldman/CNET

The dock’s footprint is minimal, too, compared to something like Brydge’s vertical dock, which stands the MacBook on end creating more of a tower that needs a wider base to balance. The DockBook is more low-profile and, because it is open-ended, it can be used with 13-, 15- and 16-inch models so it’s not necessary to buy a size-specific version of it. 

The DockBook is available directly from HumanCentric for $168 and it will ship to the US, Canada and UK. HumanCentric also sells through Amazon in the UK and Australia. The price converts to approximately £135 or $240.

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